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Summit! The group of the 7 Summits Club made a successful ascent on the summit of the Vinson Massif

Vinson. Artem Rostovtsev, super-guide of the 7 Summits Club from Antarctica: Hello, Seven Summits! I congratulate you on the beginning of winter, on December 1st! This is Artem Rostovtsev. Our group has just descended from the summit of the Vinson ... read more

Artem Rostovtsev, super-guide of the 7 Summits Club from Antarctica: Hello, Seven Summits! I congratulate you on the beginning of winter, on December 1st! This is Artem Rostovtsev. Our group has just descended from the summit of the Vinson Massif. All went well. Today it turns out that for the first time in almost two years someone has been on the top of Antarctica. There were 9 people in total. These are two rangers, three climbers from the ALE company and four people from the 7 Summits Club company. And it looks like a fresh wind blew and the mountain slammed shut…

 

Photos from the expeditions of the 7 Summits Club of previous seasons...

 

 

 

The 7 Summits Club Group is approaching the summit of the Vinson Massif

Vinson. Hello, Seven Summits! This is Artem Rostovtsev, from the slopes of the Vinson Massif in Antarctica. It's getting late, midnight. But the light is so bright that at least put on two pairs of glasses. But in a couple of days they promise that ... read more

Hello, Seven Summits! This is Artem Rostovtsev, from the slopes of the Vinson Massif in Antarctica. It's getting late, midnight. But the light is so bright that at least put on two pairs of glasses. But in a couple of days they promise that clouds will creep in and the wind will blow. Therefore, we are a little worried and are already trying to go higher. So maybe in a couple of days we will climb on the top of Vinson. We are doing well, everything is going according to plan. Soon we will please you with other good news.

 

Photos from the expeditions of the 7 Summits Club of previous seasons

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Everest Blitz is not about a speed record! But you will be able to get acquainted with the record holders

Everest. How fast can you climb Mount Everest? This general question is divided into two. How fast can you climb from the base camp to the top? And how quickly you can climb to the top from the beginning of the expedition. We are talking about ... read more

 How fast can you climb Mount Everest? This general question is divided into two. How fast can you climb from the base camp to the top?  And – how quickly you can climb to the top from the beginning of the expedition. We are talking about records, and not about them. The program of the 7 Summits Club "Blitz" is not about records. This is expediency and rationality. One of the solutions to the problem: "there is a desire to climb Mount Everest – there is no way to spend two months on an expedition"…

 

 

And the record holders… You will be able to meet them at the base camp. Karl Egloff and Marc Batard plan to set new achievements for 2022, and for Sherpa Kami Rita, records are the main job.

 

 

Proposals of the 7 Summits Club, Everest Expedition 2022. Leader Alex Abramov.

 

This is American Roxanne Gonzalez Vogel.

Her record is unofficial. Perhaps one of the climbers could prove that he was on the expedition for a shorter period. For example, someone flew over from another eight-thousandth and already acclimatized went to the mountain. Or someone even lives in the Khumbu Valley and, after leaving home, only stopped at the base camp for a day. Records of the shortness of stay in the expedition are still a novelty.

 But Roxanne (Roxy) showed the whole world the action of a program similar to our "Blitz". Even much shorter - 14 days from home to home in California.

 (1) The program is available for well-trained people. Roxy has been doing sports all her life, professionally - sports nutrition. She runs ultra-marathons at a competitive level.

 (2) The program is available for those who already know their body's reaction to altitude. Roxy has been climbing for many years. She went, in particular, to Denali and Aconcagua, dozens of routes in the mountains of the USA. And just before Everest, Roxy visited South America, where she climbed three five-thousand meters in Ecuador in five days and on Ojos del Salado in just five days (from home to home).

 (3) But the most important thing is that the program includes long-term training at home. The training consists of regular prolonged sleep in a specially equipped, so-called hypoxic tent.  Nitrogen is pumped into it by a special generator and an atmosphere similar to high-altitude conditions is created.

 

 

Alex Abramov on the air about the Everest expedition and the Blitz program.

 

 

 

Record holders, who can be found at the base camp.

 Kami Rita will be 52 years old, he has climbed to the top of the World 25 times.

 

 

Karl Egloff aims to set speed records on all the "seven summits".  There are four of them in his collection: Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro and Elbrus. An Ecuadorian Swiss or Swiss Ecuadorian hopes that nothing will prevent him from fighting time on the slopes of Mount Everest this year.

 Marc Batard

Karl Egloff intends to break the record of this Frenchman. In 1988, Mark ran from base camp to the summit of Mount Everest in 22.5 hours.  Several Sherpas walked much faster, but they all used oxygen tanks. And the Batar climbed without the use of additional (artificial) oxygen.  The 69-year-old Frenchman returned to Everest this year to find and equip a way bypassing of the Khumbu icefall.  Already in the mountains he celebrated his 70th birthday. And in 2022, he plans to officially open this path and climb to the top again without oxygen. And thus set an age record for oxygen-free ascent. It belongs so far to the Italian guide Abele Blanc - 55 years old.

The group of the 7 Summits Club is already at the base camp of the Vinson Massif. And the "stash" was found in full!

Vinson. Artem Rostovtsev, super-guide of the 7 Summits Club from Antarctica: Hello, Seven Summits! This is the White Continent, Artem Rostovtsev. We arrived at the Vinson Massif base camp and have already managed to settle down. Moreover, we dug up ... read more

Artem Rostovtsev, super-guide of the 7 Summits Club from Antarctica: Hello, Seven Summits! This is the White Continent, Artem Rostovtsev. We arrived at the Vinson Massif base camp and have already managed to settle down. Moreover, we dug up equipment and food buried in the snow two years ago. It was all found quickly - literally in five minutes. Thanks to the one who correctly set the coordinates. Some delicacies were left over from the last time. We'll be having dinner soon. In general, the expedition has begun. Wish us good luck! Now the weather is favorable. We'll start going up slowly tomorrow.

 

Pictures from the season 2019-2020 

 

 

 

The group of the 7 Summits Club is ready to fly to Antarctica, the word is up to the pilots

Vinson. Artem Rostovtsev, guide of the 7 Summits Club from Punta Arenas: Expedition on the Vinson Massif, while from Fin del mundo, aka the edge of the world, is in touch. According to the plan, we have to fly to Antarctica tomorrow. We are waiting ... read more

Artem Rostovtsev, guide of the 7 Summits Club from Punta Arenas: Expedition on the Vinson Massif, while from Fin del mundo, aka the edge of the world, is in touch. According to the plan, we have to fly to Antarctica tomorrow. We are waiting for the promised news from the pilots of the aircraft, and they took a break for 1-2 hours to make a decision. What makes us worry a little. We are in full readiness, all the freight forwarding is packed, weighed, delivered.  We would like to fly tomorrow and calmly act according to the plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first Antarctic group of the 7 Summits Club arrived in Punta Arenas

Vinson. Artem Rostovtsev, super-guide of the 7 Summits Club from Punta Arenas: Antarctic programs of the 7 Summits Club begins. Ahead we have 4 expeditions on the Vinson Massif, an expedition on the Sidley volcano, an expedition The Last Degree to ... read more

Artem Rostovtsev, super-guide of the 7 Summits Club from Punta Arenas: Antarctic programs of the 7 Summits Club begins. Ahead we have 4 expeditions on the Vinson Massif, an expedition on the Sidley volcano, an expedition The Last Degree to the South Pole on skis.

The advanced small group has already gathered and is located in the windy city of Punta Arenas, a free translation into Russian is "the edge of the earth". Before the arrival of the group, we managed to find and prepare the expedition equipment, purchased and are preparing products for shipment. An exciting moment: will it be possible after a two-year break to immediately find the equipment left and buried on the slopes of Vinson? Therefore, we have to duplicate it. In any case, it will all come in handy during the season. Every day in the morning we do a PCR test, everyone should get to Antarctica "clean". And we begin to hold our fists and occasionally pray for not always stable weather at the beginning of the season. The flight to the White Continent is scheduled for November 26th, let it be so. Greetings from the ends of the earth from the guide Artem Rostovtsev and the team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Big Antarctic season of the 7 summits Club has begun. The first group arrives today

Sidley. Our season in Antarctica has started! A few days ago, the first part of the 7 Summits Club Team arrived at the edge of the world, in the Chilean city of Punta Arenas. This is a super-guide Artem Rostovtsev and our representative in Punta ... read more

Our season in Antarctica has started! A few days ago, the first part of the 7 Summits Club Team arrived at the edge of the world, in the Chilean city of Punta Arenas. This is a super-guide Artem Rostovtsev and our representative in Punta Arenas Elena Abramova. They dismantled our depot with equipment, made purchases and prepared everything necessary for the start of the first group on Mount Vinson, which arrives in Punta Arenas this evening.

We remind you that in this Antarctic season, the 7 Summis Club will have 4 groups on Mt.Vinson, 1 groupl at the Last Degree (skiing to the South Pole), 1 group on Mt.Sidley and a Flight to the South Pole. And there's even one parachute jump. And also among the participants of our expeditions is a climbing star - Nirmal Purja.

Vladimir Kotlyar, Artem Rostovtsev and Alexander Dorozhukov are among the super-guides of the 7 Summits Club in Antarctica this season.

And besides, from December 1, Alexander Abramov will start to Antarctica with a unique automobile expedition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urgent! There are places in groups in Antarctica! This has never happened before, and here it is again!

South Pole. We usually complete preparations for Antarctica in the calendar summer. That is, by the beginning of September, all the lists of tourists traveling and flying to Antarctica were always ready. But this year we are just getting out of the ... read more

A chance!  One place was vacated in the group following  Sidley Volcano in Antarctica. From January 6. Group Leader: Lyudmila Korobeshko.

 

 

We usually complete preparations for Antarctica in the calendar summer. That is, by the beginning of September, all the lists of tourists traveling and flying to Antarctica were always ready. But this year we are just getting out of the covid press.  Will there be a season in Antarctica? There was no affirmative answer to this question for a long time.  And it took longer than usual to form groups.  There was demand, and the demand is deferred. Since last season was completely canceled by the American logistics organizers on the Ice Continent.  Now all issues have been resolved and agreed. There will be a season and we already have groups.  But in other countries, booking is worse than usual. And there are unsold seats in many positions.  We publish a full list of our arrivals.  The availability of seats may be confirmed, maybe not. Guaranteed to have one place from January 6 on Vinson and Sidley.

 

Antarctica. Climbing Vinson. November 23 - December 8, December 4 - December 19, December 15 - December 30, December 26 - January 10. January 6 - January 21.

Guide Artem Rostovtsev. Cost: $45,900.

 

Antakrtida. The South Pole. December 4 - December 19, December 15 - December 30, December 31 - January 15. Guide Artem Rostovtsev. Cost: $65,900

 

Antarctica. Sidley (The Seven Volcanoes program). January 6 - January 21.  Guide: Lyudmila Korobeshko. Cost: $60,990.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A chance! One place was vacated in the group following Sidley Volcano in Antarctica. From January 6. Group Leader: Lyudmila Korobeshko

Sidley. In the program "Seven volcanoes" there is an absolutely definite main mountain. This is Mount Sidley. The most remote volcano from civilization, ascents on which are not organized every year. And no more than one group per season. In ... read more

In the program "Seven volcanoes" there is an absolutely definite main mountain. This is Mount Sidley. The most remote volcano from civilization, ascents on which are not organized every year.  And no more than one group per season. In January 2022, the group of climbers will be headed by the director of the 7 Summits Club, the incomparable Lyudmila Korobeshko, who will "close" the Seven Volcanoes program. As a rule, all applications for a trip to Antarctica stop being accepted on September 1. Then you can only hope for someone's cancelation. Now is such a case! The lucky one is waiting for a completely unusual journey, the adventure of whole life, and even in a wonderful company.

 

 January 6 - January 21. Guide: Lyudmila Korobeshko

 Cost:$60,990.

Program and details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antarctica is opening up for climbing for next season. Urgently join our groups that have been formed for a long time!

South Pole. Our American friends who organize logistics for tourist and climbing groups in Antarctica (ALE company) "gave the go-ahead" - the season will be, the season can not to be! The last Antarctic summer was cancelled, but the groups of the 7 ... read more

 Our American friends who organize logistics for tourist and climbing groups in Antarctica (ALE company) "gave the go-ahead" - the season will be, the season can not to be! The last Antarctic summer was  cancelled, but the groups of the 7 Summits Club were formed. Most of them have moved on to the upcoming season. So we invite you to join already formed and guaranteed groups! And there are not so many places left. Also, we apologize for the fact that you need to make a decision very quickly. That is, call urgently! Trips to Antarctica must be arranged in advance.

 

 

 We compare a trip to Antarctica, especially to its central part, with a visit to another planet. These are absolutely unique impressions and emotions, this is a memory for a lifetime. This is something that it is better not to postpone, if there is an opportunity!

 We invite you to join our next groups.

 Ascent to the highest peak of Antarctica, Mount Vinson (4892m) with a guide Artem Rostovtsev. One of the key ones in the "Seven Summits" project.

Program

 Climbing the highest volcano in Antarctica, Mount Sidley (4181m) with Lyudmila Korobeshko. The key moment in the project "Seven Volcanoes". There are not so many people who have passed this test in the world.

Program

 

 

And a combo, "two in one": Climbing Mount Vinson (4892m) + climbing Sidley volcano (4181m).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antarctica. Last day of booking at a discounted price! There are not many places left, hurry up to join the groups with Nims as a guide!

Vinson. From July 1, the price of programs with climbing Mount Vinson will increase! Antarctic sledges are prepared in advance. There aren't many places left. So we invite you to join our teams that will travel to the only continent not affected ... read more

From July 1, the price of programs with climbing  Mount Vinson will increase! Antarctic sledges are prepared in advance. There aren't many places left. So we invite you to join our teams that will travel to the only continent not affected by coronovirus. We remind you that the famous Nepalese mountaineer Nirmal Purja (Nims) will work as a guide in our programs. As well as a famous multi-sportsman, Super-guide of the 7 Summits Club Artem Rostovtsev. Check out our program options!

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3‌ ‌options:‌ ‌

 

1. COMBO:‌ ‌Traveling‌ ‌in‌ ‌Antarctica‌ ‌with‌ ‌Nirmal‌ ‌Purja!‌ ‌limbing‌ ‌the‌ ‌Vinson‌ ‌Massif‌ ‌+‌ ‌The‌ ‌

South‌ ‌Pole‌ ‌"Last‌ ‌Degree"‌ ‌(skiing‌ ‌111km‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌pole)‌ ‌

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Date:‌ ‌4‌ ‌December‌ ‌2020‌ ‌—‌ ‌3‌ ‌January‌ ‌2021‌ ‌

Price:‌ ‌99‌ ‌900‌ ‌USD‌ ‌

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2. Skiing‌ ‌the‌ ‌last‌ ‌degree‌ ‌(111km)‌ ‌to‌ ‌South‌ ‌Pole‌ ‌(Traveling‌ ‌in‌ ‌Antarctica‌ ‌with‌ ‌Nirmal‌ ‌

Purja)‌

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Date:‌ ‌17‌ ‌December‌ ‌2020‌ ‌—‌ ‌3‌ ‌January‌ ‌2021‌ ‌

Price:‌ ‌69‌ ‌900‌ ‌USD‌ ‌

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3. Climbing‌ ‌to‌ ‌Mt.Vinson‌ ‌4897m,‌ ‌Antarctica‌ ‌(Traveling‌ ‌in‌ ‌Antarctica‌ ‌with‌ ‌Nirmal‌ ‌Purja)‌ ‌

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Data:‌ ‌4‌ ‌December‌ ‌2020‌ ‌—‌ ‌21‌ ‌December‌ ‌2021‌ ‌

Price:‌ ‌49‌ ‌00‌ ‌USD‌ ‌

 

 

 

 

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We invite! The highest peak of Antarctica with Nims and the 7 Summits Club

Vinson. Dear friends! We are happy to announce a new joint project of the 7 Summits Club and Nims: 2 programs for 1 month. 4th of December 3rd of January. An unforgettable, fantastic expedition to the other planet. Climbing to Mt.Vinson ... read more

Dear friends! We are happy to announce a new joint project of the 7 Summits Club and Nims: 2 programs for 1 month.   4th of December — 3rd of January.  An unforgettable, fantastic expedition to the “other planet”. 

 

Climbing to Mt.Vinson 4897m, Antarctica

(Traveling in Antarctica with Nirmal Purja)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New in Antarctica: website of the Ice marathon and Nims as a guide for the 7 Summits Club program

South Pole. On December 13, 2020, the start of the famous Ice marathon, a mass start in the area of the Union Glacier Antarctic base, is scheduled. Recently, the organizers presented a new website for the event. During the days of the marathon, you can ... read more

On December 13, 2020, the start of the famous Ice marathon, a mass start in the area of the Union Glacier Antarctic base, is scheduled. Recently, the organizers presented a new website for the event. During the days of the marathon, you can be on or near Union Glacier as part of the 7 Summits Club program, which will be guided by the famous Nepalese Nirmal Purja. Or you can just fly with our help and take part in a marathon race…

 

 

 

 

The main star of mountaineering in the Himalayas of 2019, Nirmal Purja (aka Nims) intends to devote himself to working as a guide in the near future. Last year, the Nepalese became close friends with the 7 Summits Club and we agreed with him on mutually beneficial cooperation. We present to You the first joint project:

The program of ascent on the highest peak of Antarctica, Mount Vinson, and a ski trip to the South Pole. 

 

Nims is a cheerful and sociable guy, with a lot of life experience, physically and mentally surprisingly resistant person. Traveling with him will be something special that you can remember and tell all your life.

 

 

Nirmal "Nims" Purja (born 25.07.1983, Myagdi, Nepal) is a Nepalese mountaineer, former Gurkha, soldier of the Special boat service (SBS), an elite special forces unit of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. It climbed all fourteen eight-thousandths in a record time of 6 months 6 days in 2019. Awarded the British order of knighthood - The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

 

Nirmal Purja a guide of the 7 Summits Club! We invite you to visit Antarctica with him on the programs of climbing Mount Vinson and skiing the South Pole!

South Pole. The main star of mountaineering in the Himalayas of 2019, Nirmal Purja (aka Nims) intends to devote himself to working as a guide in the near future. Last year, the Nepalese became close friends with the 7 Summits Club and we agreed with ... read more

The main star of mountaineering in the Himalayas of 2019, Nirmal Purja (aka Nims) intends to devote himself to working as a guide in the near future. Last year, the Nepalese became close friends with the 7 Summits Club and we agreed with him on mutually beneficial cooperation. We present to You the first joint project:

The program of ascent on the highest peak of Antarctica, Mount Vinson, and a ski trip to the South Pole. 

 

Nims is a cheerful and sociable guy, with a lot of life experience, physically and mentally surprisingly resistant person. Traveling with him will be something special that you can remember and tell all your life.

 

 

Nirmal "Nims" Purja (born 25.07.1983, Myagdi, Nepal) is a Nepalese mountaineer, former Gurkha, soldier of the Special boat service (SBS), an elite special forces unit of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. It climbed all fourteen eight-thousandths in a record time of 6 months 6 days in 2019. Awarded the British order of knighthood - The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

 

Nims in Moscow

 

 

R. J. Nagarajan. Expedition to Antarctica & Mt Vinson story

Vinson. Looking Back ... some nostalgic feeling of being in Antarctica and summiting Mt Vinson with Alex Abramov and the crazy Russian team: Vladislav Lachkarev and Alla Mishina. The entire trip was freezing cold, white-out, windy ...only the ... read more

Looking Back ... some nostalgic feeling of being in Antarctica and summiting Mt Vinson with Alex Abramov and the crazy Russian team:  Vladislav Lachkarev and  Alla Mishina.

The entire trip was freezing cold, white-out, windy ...only the Russians can heck this ... super strong and resilient folks not forgetting their spirits! (not vodka .... but pure alcohol! :))

As crazy as they can be, but I had some wonderful time and learned so many values!

Since I got back from the trip … I wondered why was it so much fun and at the same time, we all became so close and manage to endure that atrocious weather and manage to get to the pinnacle of Antarctica. These were some of my reflections and learnings for this expedition!

 

 

Leadership – I have been in many teams, also have run companies and transform a few of them but the Leadership of Alex was the difference. He was motivating, educating, at times a drill Sargent (driving us crazy) and a fun-loving individual! And when he is on the mountain… he is definitely in charge together with Artom (Guide) He truly exhibits it when the situation arises during so many challenges along the way up to the summit, At times he raises his voice, jokes, teaches, etc. and mind u the people who climb with him are all Business owners/ CEO’s (Vlad, Alla, Sergey, Sasha…) We all continue to climb with him because of the same reasons.

There was a particular time I was struggling in the climb and was beginning to have self-doubt, he turned around and told me u are stronger and u know that! I didn’t get it in the beginning, but later I knew he just wanted me to focus on the climb and not noise inside me! He can be fun and crazy at the same time and an example of it was when he bought a Xmas tree and shipped to Union Glacier and placed it outside our tent area so we will not feel left out and will feel festive!

Teamwork – When I first met the team, I felt the odd one out among an entire Russian team, This brown Malaysian guy trying to blend in with these folks who spoke a different language and culturally different! But then as the expedition progressed, I truly felt the comradeship of the team, they looked after each other, supported each other, to the extend when we have meals they will wait for me, not once but every time and not forgetting the alcohol drinking sessions after our meals. So there was once I asked my fellow teammate, Vlad, why are these folks so hospitable, then he replied we are FAMILY! In a family, there will be ups and down but we stick together. I also realized that my tentmate Ella (a super fit grandma) who keeps an eye on my safety and wellbeing! AN example of it was once I wandered out of the tent after dinner and I was out for many hours, and as she got worried, she got hold of Alex and started searching for me!

 

 

Knowledgeable – He might not be the fastest or fittest climber I know, but he definitely knows his mountains esp. places where he climbs (Everest 10x, the 7 summits in 7 months and many more). An example of this was when we got to the high camp that evening, a couple of teams just got back after summiting. They were surprised we came in when the weather windows are about to close. And we were told the park rangers will also come by the following day to inform us to go down. Alex just smiled and told us to have a hearty meal and go to bed. A few hours later, he called out to all of us and asked us to get ready in 20 mins. I was puzzled, when I stepped out it was windy (easily 40 -50 km hour) and freezing (probably -30c)!

Without saying more, we all got ready and had our breakfast before heading out. As expected it was cloudy, windy and freezing… we just kept walking and walking … a couple of hours into the climb and when we took a turn, the sun which was hiding behind the mountains rise! Although it was still cloudy it was not so windy and the weather got better as we climbed higher. It was a challenging climb as we got closer … gasping for breath we manage to reach the summit ridge and summited!

 

 

When we got back to base camp, the other teams were surprised that we actually climbed and more so to the summit! That’s where I know Alex knows his mountains pretty darn well!

No doubt every mountaineer would have similar stories and teams who love them and great experiences, meanwhile, this was my personal experience something I thought worth sharing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from the ski trip to the South Pole under the program of the 7 Summits Club. Author: Vladimir Karakash-Solodovnikov

South Pole. In January 2020, Vladimir Karakash-Solodovnikov reached the South Pole on skis. He traveled the ice of Antarctica under the program Last Degree of the 7 Summits Club as part of the ALE team. Thanks for the wonderful photos! read more

In January 2020, Vladimir Karakash-Solodovnikov reached the South Pole on skis. He traveled the ice of Antarctica under the program “Last Degree” of the 7 Summits Club as part of the ALE team. Thanks for the wonderful photos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UIAA official site: Sofie Lenaerts on top of each continent

Vinson. On January 4, Belgian climber Sofie Lenaerts completed a program to climb the seven highest peaks of seven continents. She did this as part of the 7 Summit Club team. UIAA official site published an interview with the heroine of the season. read more

On January 4, Belgian climber Sofie Lenaerts completed a program to climb the seven highest peaks of seven continents. She did this as part of the 7 Summit Club team. UIAA official site published an interview with the heroine of the season.

 

UIAA official site:  Sofie Lenaerts – on top of each continent 

 

Eleven years ago, mountain climbing enthusiast, full-time employee for the Belgian Federal Police and the face of Watch Out, a weekly traffic magazine show on Belgian television, Sofie Lenaerts scaled the highest mountain range in Europe, Mount Elbrus, a dormant volcano in the Caucasus Mountains. Sofie enjoyed the experience but soon sought new challenges.

 

 

In the ensuring years followed successful summits in South America, North America and Asia. It slowly dawned on Lenaerts that she was soon halfway to conquering the mythical Seven Summits challenge, the attempt to scale the highest mountain on every continent. So it was at 19:00 on 10 January 2020 after a seven-hour climb and withstanding bitterly cold temperatures and high winds, along with climbing companions Eva Lakiere and Miguel Madrid Lopez, she took the final, emotional step of the 4892 metres up to the peak of Mount Vinson, the highest mountain in Antarctica. With this, Lenaerts made her own piece of history. The Seven Summits challenge has long been an ambition for many mountaineers. In April 1985, American Richard Bass was the first documented person to climb all seven summits. If joining an elite group wasn’t an historic enough achievement, Sofie also became the first woman in Belgium or indeed the entire Benelux to accomplish this feat. She follows in the footsteps of UIAA President Frits Vrijlandt (Netherlands), a fellow Seven Summiter.

The 44-year old is something of a self-confessed adventure junkie, enjoying a myriad of sports including skydiving, kickboxing, motorcycling, scuba diving, skiing, trail running, kite surfing, speleology, high-altitude climbing and paragliding. In 2018, she ran and cycled 270km in 24 hours, from the lowest to the highest point in Flanders, as an ambassador for the Make-A-Wish “30 days without complaining” campaign.  It is a demonstration of the level of physical and mental preparedness and determination that has allowed her to achieve what for most of us would be impossible, with months of preparation having to go into each climb.

 

THE UIAA SPOKE TO SOFIE RECENTLY TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT HER ACHIEVEMENT, HER PASSION FOR MOUNTAINEERING AND IN LINE WITH THE UIAA’S OWN ETHICS ON MOUNTAIN SAFETY, HER BELIEF IN RESPONSIBLE CLIMBING.

When did your interest in climbing, the outdoors and mountaineering begin? And how has it evolved over time?

I was invited to go indoor climbing when I was 24 years old. After that this same person took me rock climbing in the Ardennes (Beez, Freyr, Dave). After that came via Ferrata in the Dolomites (Italy) and rock-climbing small mountains (+3000m) in France and Italy. My first “bigger” mountain was Nevado Pisco, 5752m, in Peru. After that I decided I wanted to climb more peaks like this. I went to Ecuador, Nepal, Colombia, Argentina, Alaska and step by step I started dreaming of crossing the 8000m threshold.

Your quest to scale all Seven Summits was a feat which took place over eleven years. At which stage did you really take on the challenge of climbing them all? Was it something you had in mind when you climbed Elbrus in 2009 or is it something which came to you much later?

In the beginning I didn’t plan to climb the Seven Summits. Elbrus and Aconcagua were just an opportunity and I had chosen to climb Denali as training preparation for an 8000m peak. But when two expeditions to an 8000m peak had failed, I had the opportunity to climb Everest. After that, in 2016 I had succeeded in climbing it, I decided to complete the Seven Summits.

You have mentioned in interviews only taking calculated risks and getting to the top is really only the halfway point. This is a really responsible philosophy, and one the UIAA through its work across mountain safety promotes. In a world where sometimes people want to achieve things at any cost, how important is it to you that you are a responsible climber, who respects the challenge, the mountain and the mountain environment?

I believe that good decision making can only be achieved by true experience. You need years of practice in the mountains where you need to learn step by step where the dangers lie and gradually you will also learn what your physical and mental boundaries are. If you respect the safety rules in mountaineering, you can reduce the risks to accidents and find a healthy balance between wanting to reach the summit but also knowing when it’s time to commence the ascent and return safely. The mountains doesn’t run away and a patient climber has a greater chance to grow old and tell their story, whereas eager bold climbers sometimes die young.

In terms of preparation and planning, how much time typically went into each expedition (in terms of training, route planning, organisation and what were the most challenging parts to organise)?

For a big expedition like a group expedition towards an 8000m peak, it took one year but when I climb together with my husband (Stef Maginelle – himself an expert climber and first Belgian to climb two peaks above 8000m, without oxygen, during the same expedition), it’s between six to eight months. The last expedition we did was without a Sherpa or oxygen so we only needed to organize the basecamp facilities …something these days is very easy to do. The variety of commercialized logistics organizations is wide spread.  As for training, we try to keep in shape the whole year around and one month before departure we start our hypoxic training. Depending on the physical challenge, we adjust the training where needed.

 


 

Across the seven expeditions what was technically the most challenging moment, and what emotionally was the most memorable?

 

The most technical challenge was the Everest North side but not the most beautiful experience, that would be Denali, for I love to climb independently. For Everest and Vinson, I needed to make an exception. The most emotional were Everest and Vinson. Everest because it was my first +8000 m peak and I knew my husband stood on that same point nine years before and Vinson, because it was the last of the Seven Summits. One of the other climbs – not related to the Seven Summits – I learned most from was a solo expedition to the North Side (AD+) of Khan Tengri 7010m in Kazakhstan in 2015 (pictured above). I had to set-up three high camps, using two very small tents. I spent 14 days on the mountain because of continuous bad weather, but made it to the summit even when many other expeditions of male climbers turned back. I had to use fixed ropes from previous expeditions to climb the hardest parts and in a happy coincidence I met three Belgians, two of whom also made the summit. It made for nice company and for me, this climb, is still the most beautiful experience I have ever accomplished.

After a decade long pursuit accomplishing her dream, many people would be forgiven for settling for the quieter life.  An inspiration to climbers in her home country, she will be somewhere new soon chasing her next adventure.  As she says herself, “If you can dream it, you can do it”.

 

TIMELINE OF SOFIE’S SEVEN SUMMITS

Elbroes (5642 meters), Europe. Climbed in 2009
Aconcagua (6962 meters), South America. Climbed in 2010
Denali (6190 meters), North America. Climbed in 2012
Mount Everest (8848 meters), Asia. Climbed in 2016
Puncak Jaya (4884 meters), Oceania. Climbed in 2017
Kilimanjaro (5895 meters), Africa. Climbed in 2018
Mount Vinson (4892 meters), Antarctica. Climbed in 2020

Today we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica! The 7 Summits Club congratulates everyone on the great anniversary date!

Vinson. 200 years ago, Russian explorers for the first time in human history saw a huge continent in the extreme south of our planet. 200 years of exploration of Antarctica! Under the sign of this date, we provided all our programs of the past ... read more

 

200 years ago, Russian explorers for the first time in human history saw a huge continent in the extreme south of our planet. 200 years of exploration of Antarctica! Under the sign of this date, we provided all our programs of the past season of ascents and trips on the Ice Continent. Three groups of the 7 Summits Club successfully raised the flags of the 200th anniversary and our Club to the highest peak of Antarctica - Mount Vinson. Our group members reached the South Pole on skis and climbed the highest volcano on the continent, Mount Sidley.

 

 

We pride ourselves on being one of leaders in organizing Antarctic travels. Climbers from different countries and continents took part in our trips. We invite everyone to join our travel to another, fabulous world, to a journey that will become one of the most striking episodes of your life! You need to decide in advance, such conditions of the game ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos of fantastic Antarctica and greetings from Punta Arenas from the guide of the 7 Summits Club Artyom Rostovtsev

Vinson. Greetings from the southern branch of the 7 Summits Club! We have finally left the most unpopulated continent. The climbing season of the 7 Summits Club in Antarctica ended successfully. Three successful expeditions to the highest point of ... read more

Greetings from the southern branch of the 7 Summits Club! We have finally left the most unpopulated continent. The climbing season of the 7 Summits Club in Antarctica ended successfully. Three successful expeditions to the highest point of the white continent!  All members used their not-so-easy chance to stand on top of Vinson Massif. And someone managed to stand on the highest volcano of the continent – Mount Sidley. The weather was very diverse. But somehow, in all three expeditions, the ascent plan was not frustrated and we had reached the top in the most favorable conditions. The most difficult moment was the evacuation in stormy weather down from the assault camp after one of the successful visits to the summit (the weather tried to leave us there for several days) and the next 8 days of waiting for departure from the base camp Vinson.  

 

The other day it will be the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the Antarctic continent by Russian researchers. We dedicated our summit climb to this date.

 

Well, now drying, fixing, packing of equipment and closing our southern branch until next season.

 

Warm greetings from the shore of the Strait of Magellan!

Artyom Rostovtsev.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summit! Oleg Mezentsev, a member of the second Antarctic group of the 7 Summits Club, climbed to the top of Mount Sidley and completed the Seven Volcanoes program

Sidley. Message from Oleg Mezentsev from Sidley Volcano: I was on summit! Everything is fine, we went down to High Camp, today we spend the night here. The Basler plane is waiting for the group below, so the climbers must catch the Union ... read more

Message from Oleg Mezentsev from Sidley Volcano:

I was on summit! Everything is fine, we went down to High Camp, today we spend the night here.

 

The Basler plane is waiting for the group below, so the climbers must catch the Union Glacier before the last scheduled plane leaves for the mainland. It should take place on January 20. On it, Artyom Rostovtsev should fly to Punta Arenas with a third our group of climbers on Vinson.

 

 

 

Photo by Andrew Hughes from James Stone's blog

                                                    

 

Oleg with Nims in Moscow